I don’t think Pro-Life Means What You Think It Does

inigo-montoya

The other day this sentence, “Hillary Clinton Is the Best Choice for Voters Against Abortion” came across my FaceBook feed from Eric Sapp writing for Christian Post.

“I’ll start by saying that I don’t think Christians should be single-issue voters since Christ’s ministry wasn’t single-issue. But if your concern for the unborn determines your vote, Hillary Clinton should be your candidate.”

My first response wassurprised-owl-400x214

But after a moment I was

old-person-confused

That first sentence set off my bad logic radar. Jesus’ ministry wasn’t single issue? I seem to remember it all being about the kingdom of God.

What does that statement even mean? And what does it have to do with voting?  The second statement about Hillary being best for pro-life. gave me intellectual whiplash as I’m sure the author intended. However, I pride myself on being open-minded. I consciously expose myself to alternate viewpoints. So I read on.

Republican leaders say they are “pro-life,” proclaiming from every street corner their unwavering belief that life begins at conception … and then those politicians turn around and say it’s ok to murder those precious unborn children if they were conceived through rape or incest. What does it say about politicians who proudly proclaim life begins at conception and then advocate murdering some children because that position polls better?

And I’m back to

i-cant-even

The assumption that because politicians support exceptions for rape and incest means that they are doing it for polling is a bit of a leap. Look, few people are as distrustful of politicians and their motives as me. I have no doubt that Republican politicians pander to their constituencies. However, I’m not so cynical that I can’t believe what Dr. Richard Land claims:

Many of them reluctantly accept rape and incest exceptions as a necessary legal compromise in order to attempt to save the more than 98% of unborn babies who would be protected from abortion even with those exceptions. They will never accept blanket abortion on demand as a matter of conscience.

I like the way Don Veinot describes it. Passing abortion legislation is a bit like a hostage negotiation. You try to save as many hostages as you can even if you can’t save them all. Legislation is designed to be a compromise. If you want  absolutes don’t ever go into politics.

A very important book in my life is by the economists Gordon Tullock, Arthur Seldon, and Gordon Brady called Government Failure. government-failure

Tullock and company explain how laws are made. What happens in law-making is called log-rolling. Senator A agrees to support Senator B’s bill but only if Senator B supports A’s other bill. It’s also called vote-trading. Abortion reduction legislation would never pass without exceptions for rape and incest. So, better to save some babies than none.

The analogy doesn’t quite fit, because those holding hostages don’t believe they are holding hostage anyone with moral status but you get the idea.

To be fair, if he is right, Eric Sapp does call attention a double standard:

Even the House Republican late-term abortion bill that passed the House and failed in the Senate on a party-line vote included exceptions allowing late-term abortion if the child was conceived through rape or incest or the woman’s life was in danger. When Hillary Clinton allows for those exceptions, evangelicals are told she “supports late-term abortion,” but when Republicans make those exact same exceptions, they are awarded 100% Pro-Life voting records?

I’ve argued elsewhere on this blog that the “murder” language is inaccurate because those who support abortion do not intend to murder anyone. Most people who support abortion simply value decisions of an adult over the status of an unborn baby. There are exceptions.

cecile-richards

This woman is Cecile Richards. She is the head of Planned Parenthood.  She both endorsed Hillary Clinton and told a story about how she had an abortion She said, ““I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me and my husband, and it wasn’t a difficult decision,” Having listened to her speech, my take is that Richards saw the pregnancy as an inconvenience and she doesn’t think it was a dilemma at all. I could be wrong, but I don’t think she wants legal but rare abortions. Why would we want to limit what she calls a medical procedure.

Ms. Richards attitude strains virtue of Christian charity I’m trying to develop. But I will revile. Throughout history people have engaged in willful ignorance at the expense of their children. Cecile Richards isn’t guilty of murder to be guilty of murder you have to intend to take an innocent life. I don’t think she thinks she took a life at all. In that respect she is to be pitied. Don’t hate her, please.  Instead, support  your local crisis pregnancy center in her name.